People with disabilities face an extra set of challenges when flying – and most of them are dependent on the airlines to accommodate their needs.
While some airlines knock it out of the park, going above and beyond to provide excellent customer service – others drop the ball, or are even negligent.
One family experienced a tragedy when a woman in a wheelchair fell and became paralyzed – and after an 11-month battle ended up losing her life – so what exactly happened?
25-year-old Gaby Assouline was in her electric wheelchair and heading down the jet bridge to board her flight with Southwest when she hit a junction that caused the wheelchair to flip over.
As a result of the fall, Gaby was paralyzed and spent 11 months fighting for her life – a battle she tragically lost.
And now, the grieving family has filed a lawsuit against Southwest Airlines hoping to hold them accountable.
The family’s attorney Robert Solomon claims Southwest Airlines completely failed Gaby and should be held accountable.
NBC 6 South Florida reported:
“According to a lawsuit filed last year against Southwest Airlines, the Assouline family claimed Gaby was using her electric wheelchair on a jet bridge to board the plane when the chair hit a junction and flipped over.
The family’s lawyer said she had a ticket that stated she needed assistance.
“And now they wanna say that she refused help,” Robert C. Solomon said…
“Their agents owed her the highest duty of care, and they completely failed her. And it’s upsetting to hear, ‘well, we’re gonna blame her,'” Solomon said.
The family alleged both Southwest Airlines and its contractor, G2 Secured Staff, were careless and that someone should have assisted her as she crossed the jetbridge.”
At current date, Southwest has offered their condolences, reiterating their “51-year commitment” in caring for their travelers – but denies they’re to blame for Gaby’s death.
Gaby had her entire life ahead of her.
Our hearts go out to her family as they grieve the loss of their loved one.
Sadly, many people in wheelchairs have reported being neglected and humiliated while traveling.
Who could forget the shocking video of a disabled passenger having to drag her body down the aisle just to use the bathroom.
Or the tragic story of the passenger who died when her wheelchair was damaged – and the airline refused to replace it.
Instead of focusing on becoming “greener” or “transgender” friendly – airlines and airports should train their staff on how to treat those with disabilities.
No traveler should have to risk injury – or even death – because the airline staff didn’t treat them with the proper care they needed.
Let’s hope all airlines who mishandle or neglect their passengers are held accountable.
Do you think Southwest Airlines should be held accountable for Gaby’s death?
Why do you think people with disabilities often face such difficulties while traveling?
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